Magazine article USA TODAY

Early Bedtimes Cut Risk of Obesity

Magazine article USA TODAY

Early Bedtimes Cut Risk of Obesity

Article excerpt

Preschoolers who regularly are tucked into bed by 8 p.m. are far less likely to become obese teenagers than young children who go to sleep later in the evening, maintains research in The Journal of Pediatrics. Bedtimes after 9 p.m. appear to double the likelihood of obesity later in life.

"For parents, this reinforces the importance of establishing a bedtime routine," says epidemiologist Sarah Anderson, lead author of the study. It also arms pediatricians with scientifically-based advice for parents. "It's something concrete that families can do to lower their child's risk and it's also likely to have positive benefits on behavior and on social, emotional, and cognitive development."

Excess weight in children is a major health concern in the U.S. Approximately 17%--12,700,000--of children and adolescents are obese, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga. Obesity could set kids up for a lifelong struggle with weight and health complications that can accompany it, including diabetes and heart disease. …

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